Trader Joe's has issued a recall of its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter out of concern that it could possibly be contaminated with salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Friday, Sept. 21.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a total of 29 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney from 18 states.
The FDA, CDC and several state health departments are leading multiple investigations. The CDC recommends that consumers do not eat the peanut butter made with sea salt.
The peanut butter in question is labeled with the SKU number 97111. Trader Joe's said it is pulling the product voluntarily "due to pending health-related inquiries." The company was notified by the FDA on Sept. 20. The peanut butter is sold nationwide and on the Internet.
"We have no confirmed information that suggests this peanut butter is unsafe to eat, but there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our customers and crew, and the quality of our products. As such, if you purchased this product, please do not eat it.
"We encourage you to return the product to any Trader Joe's for a full refund or dispose of it. We apologize for any inconvenience," the company said in a statement.
Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment, according to the FDA.
In some people the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Young children, the elderly and persons with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable.